Today we had an Oriya get together at a friend's place to celebrate the Saraswati Puja. They host it every year and do a great job of organizing it. The goddess was decorated nicely and there were lots of fruits and flowers. The kids recited the Saraswati slokas and saw the whole puja done the traditional way! The puja and the arti was a treat to watch.
There was fresh bundi and chuda ghasa made at home for the puja - both were mind blowing. Of course which Oriya party is complete without a round of yummy food afterwards. I had made one of the Oriya dishes - Ghanta. Ghanta means "mixed" and usually it means mixed vegetables. Again there are several versions of this dish, but this is the one that my Sasu makes for Puja days, since we don't put onions or garlic in it.
Yam (or saru)
Green beans (use string beans if you have them)
1 small mango (peeled and then grated)
1 handful of green peas soaked in water (2-3 hours)
1 handful of yellow peas soaked in water (2-3 hours)
2 hand full of chick peas (soak and keep for sprouting the day before)
1 handful of Desi Channa (soak and keep for sprouting the day before)
1 handful of green mung Dal (soak and keep for sprouting the day before)
1 tsp of punch puran seeds
5 small pieces of cinnamon stick
10 pieces of Cardamom (Aleicha)
Ginger (2-inch piece) grated
Ginger (1-inch piece) cut into thin pieces
2-3 tablespoon of fried Cumin powder (if freshly roasted and ground then better)
Fresh Coriander leaves
Red Chili Powder to taste
4-5 Red Chillies
4-5 bay leaves
Turmeric powder to taste
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking (you can use ghee if you want too)
Coconut pieces or shredded coconut (optional) - about handful
Ghee - 2 tea spoon (optional)
First cut all the vegetables into equal size pieces (other than the mangoes and ginger). After cutting the vegetable, use 2 times yellow squash for 1measurement of each of the other vegetable. So if you use 2 cups of quash, use 1 cup each of potatoes, egg plant and so on... This is the most time consuming part of making ghanta. Cut and keep aside from day before, if you can.
Put 2-3 table spoon of oil in a frying pan and put the panch phuran seeds and let them splutter.
Add the cinnamon and cardamom and the grated ginger and the bay leaves.
Add the vegetables that take time to cook (like papaya and radish first). Also add the sprouts and green and yellow peas. And salt and turmeric and red chili powder.
Add all other vegetables after 10-15 min (other than eggplant and mangoes).
Cover and cook in slow fire for about 45-50 min (depending on the quantity of vegetables). Keep mixing and checking every 3-4 minutes.
When all the vegetables are nearly cooked, add eggplant and cook for a few minutes.
A picture before I added the cumin powder
When all vegetables are cooked, add the grated mangoes and the cut ginger pieces and the cumin powder. Adjust salt and spice level at this point. Add the additional ghee at this point (optional)
Add coriander leaves and shredded coconut and serve hot. This is an Oriya favorite and usually served on puja days with rice and plain Dal and khatta.
This post is dedicated to my gudagang friends...